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Isthmus Jazz Festival
Now in its 27th year, the Isthmus Jazz Festival is a two-day celebration of America's homegrown art form. The free festival kicks off the summer season in one of Madison's most beautiful outdoor settings, the Memorial Union Terrace, with Lake Mendota as a glittering backdrop. A diverse crowd of students, jazz aficionados and casual fans fill the tables to hear a lineup that reflects a century's worth of jazz styles. Dixieland, big-band swing, bebop, Latin jazz and free jazz are all part of the mix, along with contemporary derivations like funk and hip-hop. The festival is committed to honoring jazz's glorious tradition while keeping one eye fixed on the future.